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HQ 959391

April 21, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 959391 RC


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.0030

Bruce N. Shulman, Esq.
Stein, Shostak, Shostak, & O'Hara, P.C.
1620 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Request for Tariff Classification of Articles Belonging to the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit"

Dear Mr. Shulman:

This is in response to your request, on behalf of Mattel, Inc., for a binding classification ruling, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for imported articles identified as belonging to a product called "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit"


The articles subject of this ruling are imported packaged in sealed plastic bags. Each bag contains the following: (1) twelve velcro-type hooks and loops; (2) one yard of 1/8-inch ribbon; (3) one yard of 1/4-inch ribbon; (4) forty sequins; (5) three rosettes with leaves; (6) five pairs of "Barbie" shoes; and (7) tulle measuring 8-1/2 by 11-inches. These bags will be packaged, domestically, incorporated as components to the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit." Some will be sold separately, packaged for retail sale, as replacement items for the kits. The "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit" is a product designed to create clothing for dolls. Included in the kit is a domestically manufactured CD-Rom. One uses the CD-Rom on a computer to select styles, colors, and patterns of possible outfits. Once an outfit is designed, there appears on the computer monitor an animated version of the outfit, modeled by "Barbie" on a runway. Then, one prints the pattern of the newly designed outfit on special paper-backed textile, colors the outfits with markers, perhaps decorates the outfit with some of the imported articles, and then cuts out the pattern for assembly. One assembles the newly-created outfits presumably with glue. The velcro hooks and loops are attached to the outfits for dressing an actual "Barbie" doll. The retail-packaged kits will contain various domestic- and foreign- manufactured components.


What is the correct tariff classification for the aforementioned imported articles imported packaged in sealed plastic bags?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

The EN's to heading 9503 states that "Collections of articles, the individual items of which if presented separately would be classified in other headings in the Nomenclature, are classified in this Chapter when they are put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys (e.g., instructional toys such as chemistry, sewing, etc., sets)." The retail-packaged "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit" is clearly designed for children to use as toys. The imported doll shoes are classifiable in Chapter 95 as doll clothing. The other items included for use to construct doll clothing, however, are not generally classifiable as toys when imported separately. Therefore, we must consider whether these imported articles have play-value as put up, together with the doll shoes and the other items for retail sale as the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit."

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086421, dated May 16, 1990, addressed the classification of a craft set which was similar in concept to the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit." There, the "Things You Make" craft kit consisted of two unassembled polyvinyl chloride coin purses, an unassembled polyvinyl chloride comb case, and unassembled polyvinyl chloride picture frame. Two plastic needles and lacing were included so that a child could assemble the items. It was determined that the individual components of the kit were put up together to provide amusement as toys classifiable in 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof, other, other."

We find that all the components of the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit" are designed to interact in such a way that all elements, taken together, have play value for a child. The kit provides direction and materials to create doll clothing. It is evident that the kit is put up in a manner that would indicate its use as a toy set, like a craft kit. Generally, such craft kits have been considered "educational toys" classifiable under Chapter 95. See, HRL 958267 (May 21, 1996).

Chapter 95, note 3, HTSUS, states that:

[s]ubject to note 1 above, parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. (Emphasis added).

The Velcro hooks and loops, serve a necessary/functional role as closure "snaps" for the finished doll outfits. Items, like the rosettes, while not serving a necessary/functional role other than decorative for the finished doll outfits, extend the play value of the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit." Consequently, we find that the aforementioned articles, imported in the sealed plastic bags, are classifiable as parts and accessories suitable for use principally with the "Barbie Fashion Designer Kit."

Customs rulings are issued on a case by case basis. This ruling only covers the imported articles specifically identified here. If the imported articles are used for any purpose other than as specified here, this ruling will no longer apply.


The aforementioned articles imported, packaged in the sealed plastic bags are properly classifiable in subheading 9503.70.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof, Other: Other." The applicable rate of duty is free.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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